Tesco bought a controlling stake in the mail order supplier NutriCentre in 2001, opening in-store specialist nutrition centres under its name.
Tesco’s decision sees the closure of NutriCentre overall – which was founded in 1988.
NutriCentre said in a statement: “After 25 years, we are sad to announce we are closing NutriCentre. As our final farewell, we are reducing all our prices by 75% while stocks last.”
The decision comes in the context of a tough few financial years for Tesco. Last year it posted losses of £6.4bn (€8.01bn) for 2014/15 while NutriCentre reportedly made losses of £8.3m (€10.39m) on sales of £14m (€17.52m).
A Tesco spokesperson told us: “We have taken the difficult decision to close our NutriCentre business. We have learned a lot through NutriCentre but we believe we can serve our customers better through our core UK business. Our priority now is to support affected colleagues.”
It is thought 140 staff will be affected by the closure of the 12 NutriCentre stores and 11 concessions within Tesco supermarkets.
But it’s not all bad news for specialist health stores.
According to Euromonitor International, specialist healthcare retailers such as GNC and De Tuinen brought in sales of €9.78bn in Western Europe in 2015, up from €9.08bn in 2012.
Italy, Germany and France accounted for the main chunk of these 2015 sales, at €3.64bn, €1.46bn and €1bn, respectively.
The UK lagged behind as the seventh most significant market in this region, bringing in retail sales of €396m.